Food

Cottage Pie with Beef

at a glance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
5 — Votes 3 votes

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All the nostalgic flavors of traditional cottage pie brought together in a rich, red wine tomato sauce and the creamiest mashed potatoes. 

Top down view of cottage pie in a round, white casserole dish with a spoon resting under a scoop and a bowl of cottage pie in the top right corner.

What is Cottage Pie?

Cottage pie, simply explained, is a pie made with ground or minced beef that gets topped with some form of potatoes. It’s quintessential comfort food in a one-pot-style meal. This recipe is made with a deliciously rich and acidic red wine tomato sauce that tastes like it has been simmering for hours, when really, it comes together in just 15 minutes of hands-on time. All held together by a mashed potato topping, making this meal so well-rounded in taste, flavor, and texture!

The term originated sometime in the late 1700s in Britain, when potatoes became readily available as an affordable meal component. Many peasants who lived in cottages regularly made cottage pie to nourish their families. It was (and still remains) a cost-efficient meal that also dubs as a great way to use leftovers if you have them. 

Cottage Pie vs Shepherd’s Pie 

Although the terms were used fairly interchangeably early on in their inception, distinguishing characteristics related to the meat protein used in the recipes have set them apart in modern day. Cottage pie is typically made with ground or minced beef of some sort and a beef broth-based sauce, while shepherd’s pie is made with is made using ground lamb. 

Cottage Pie Ingredients

Cottage pie ingredients on a gray and white marble surface.

While the list may seem a bit lengthy at a glance, rest assured that this is a no-fuss kind of dish. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 package of frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • ½ cup of beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 3 ¾ pounds of Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

How to Make Cottage Pie

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  1. Preheat. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Make your mashed potatoes. Start cooking your potatoes for the mashed potatoes. You can make them in the instant pot or on the stove
  3. Brown the ground beef. In a 3½-quart dutch oven or stove-friendly casserole dish, brown your ground beef over medium heat. You can also use a skillet and transfer to a round casserole dish if you don’t have one that is stovetop-friendly. Drain any excess grease.
  4. Make the sauce. To the cooked ground beef, stir in the tomato paste, wine, broth, salt, and spices. Bring to a boil and pull off the heat, then stir in the peas and carrots.
  5. Top with potatoes. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the beef mixture. 
  6. Bake. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is slightly browned and the pie is fully warmed through.
  7. Serve and enjoy! Remove from the oven, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!

Variations of Beef Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is a versatile recipe and perfect for using whatever you have in your fridge. Here are some ideas of how you can change things up:

  • Use different vegetables. While this recipe calls for frozen peas and carrots as the main veggie component, feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand (think: mushrooms, kale, corn, green beans)! Cottage pie is the perfect recipe for using this kitchen hack
  • Omit the red wine. If you prefer to make this recipe without the red wine, you can simply sub for ¾ cup water plus ¼ cup balsamic vinegar.
  • Use different meat. While traditional cottage pie calls for ground beef, this recipe is so versatile and tastes great with other ground or shredded meats, such as chicken and turkey. 
  • Add cheese. Make some cheesy mashed potatoes by adding fresh grated parmesan or cheddar cheese to your mashed potatoes for a rich and cheesy top. 
Spoonful of cottage pie held above cottage pie in a casserole dish.

Video

Cottage Pie Recipe Tips

  • Allow the ground beef to brown and some of the extra juices to evaporate off for extra delicious flavor. Use a potato masher to easily cook your ground beef. 
  • Try to spread your mashed potato topping as evenly as possible across the top, edge to edge, to help prevent too much of the sauce boiling over the top. Some seeping may be inevitable, and it won’t impact the flavor at all if it does!
  • To crisp up the top layer of mashed potatoes, stick your cottage pie under the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish things off. 

How to Store and Reheat Cottage Pie

To store your cottage pie, place it in a covered container in the fridge and consume within 5 days. To reheat, microwave or heat in a skillet or the oven until warmed through. This cottage pie also freezes well. To do so, let the pie cool completely, place it in an airtight container, then freeze for up to 3 months. 

Top down view of cooked cottage pie topped with parsley on a table with fresh parsley and white bowls with gold spoons.

What to Serve with Cottage Pie with Beef

Cottage pie is a balanced meal all on its own, but is delicious with a simple side of mixed greens or lemony arugula salad

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Cottage Pie

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 — Votes 3 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
All the nostalgic flavors of traditional cottage pie brought together in a rich, red wine tomato sauce that tastes like it has been simmering for hours and the creamiest mashed potatoes.

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package frozen peas and carrots
  • 3 3/4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Make your mashed potatoes in the instant pot or on the stove.
  • In a 3 ½ quart dutch oven or stove-friendly casserole dish, brown your ground beef over medium heat. You can also use a skillet and transfer to a round casserole dish if you don’t have one that is stove-friendly. Drain any excess grease.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, wine, broth, salt, and spices. Bring to a boil and pull off the heat, then stir in the peas and carrots.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the beef mixture. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is slightly browned and the pie is fully warmed through.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped, fresh parsley.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Cottage Pie
Amount per Serving
Calories
602
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
18.7
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
9.2
g
58
%
Cholesterol
 
115
mg
38
%
Sodium
 
862.2
mg
37
%
Carbohydrates
 
62.9
g
21
%
Fiber
 
9.3
g
39
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
40.5
g
81
%
Vitamin A
 
40
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
77
mg
93
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

Tips and Tricks:
  • Allow the ground beef to brown and some of the extra juices to evaporate off for a delicious meat flavor. Use a potato masher to easily cook your ground beef.
  • Try to spread your mashed potato topping as evenly as possible across the top, edge to edge, to help prevent too much of the sauce boiling over the top. Some seeping may be inevitable, and it won’t impact the flavor at all if it does!
  • To crisp up the top layer of mashed potatoes, stick your cottage pie under the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish things off.
To Store and Reheat: To store your cottage pie, place it in a covered container in the fridge and consume within 5 days. To reheat, microwave or reheat in a skillet or the oven until heated through. This cottage pie also freezes well. To do so, place in an airtight container, let the pie cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months.
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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  1. TQ says

    TQ —  05/12/2022 At 00:07

    What would be a good substitute for potatoes, lower in carbs?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  05/13/2022 At 15:33

      A cauliflower puree would also be really tasty on top.

  2. TQ says

    TQ —  05/16/2022 At 07:21

    What would be a good substitute for potatoes, lower in carbs?

  3. Kelly says

    Kelly —  09/07/2022 At 16:04

    Your recipe is missing instructions for the potatoes.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/13/2022 At 13:15

      Hi, Kelly. You’ll make the mashed potatoes using either the Instant Pot or the stove. Recipes are linked. I hope that helps!

    • Amy says

      Amy —  10/12/2022 At 11:43

      I am thinking step 5 is to cover the meat mixture with the prepared mashed potatoes?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  10/13/2022 At 12:27

      Thank you for your help, Amy! We’ve updated the recipe card to include the missing step. -Team FF

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